Miami Finally Getting to Host Latin Grammys; Show Avoids Controversy over Artists Living in Cuba

By Peralta, Eyder | The Florida Times Union, September 3, 2003 | Go to article overview

Miami Finally Getting to Host Latin Grammys; Show Avoids Controversy over Artists Living in Cuba


Peralta, Eyder, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Eyder Peralta, Times-Union staff writer

MIAMI -- The signs all over the city note that this time around, the Latin Grammys will finally take place in Miami. The lightpoles along the city's highways are lined with plastic banners announcing the Sept. 3 date. In front of the American Airlines Arena -- where the Latin Grammys are to be held tonight -- there is a monstrous billboard advertising the awards. Just around the corner, there's another with Juanes, the Colombian rocker, strutting with his electric guitar and touting his Grammy nominations.

And throughout the city, there is an awkward lull. There is little talk of protests, and the only reminders of the feud between the Latin Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and the exiled Cuban community in Miami are numbers that seem to almost magically appear on the long facades of one of Miami's most historic buildings, The Freedom Tower. The arena is one side of the street, its parking lots lined with freight trucks and staff members loitering on the long stairs. On the other side is the tower, a symbol of immigrant freedom, Miami's version of Ellis Island.

The gist of the battle is that, for years, the recording academy has nominated Cuban musicians -- musicians who still live in Cuba and have at times spoken out in favor of Fidel Castro's Communist regime -- and invited them to perform.

For the last two years, the Latin Grammys have been scheduled for Miami, but because of the threat of protests from the city's politically influential Cuban community, who consider support of Cuban-based artists to be support for Castro's regime, the show has been moved to Los Angeles.

The numbers on the Freedom Tower are supposed to be a peace offering of sorts. The Cuban American National Foundation owns the building, and the numbers are designed to be symbols of free speech, both in support of the crowd of protesters who are expected to make a showing tonight, and in support of the free speech of the musicians inside, CANF officials said in recent interviews. The numbers, which are well lighted, change regularly and stand for different things. The number one is in honor of the First Amendment to the Constitution, 143 stands for the estimated number of journalists killed in Cuba. CANF has been cagey about the meaning of all the numbers, saying they will release the full list at a later time.

This year, however, the controversy has been calmed somewhat by several factors. Cuban nominees like Ibrahim Ferrer of Buena Vista Social Club fame were not invited to perform at the ceremonies, which will be hosted by sitcom star George Lopez. And, they probably won't be able to attend the awards because so far, post-Sept. 11 delays have kept them from getting travel visas in time to enter the U.S.

Inside the arena Monday, the controversy seemed far away and rehearsals went as scheduled. The empty space was lighted brilliantly by thousands of lights on the stair-like banks. The 20,000-seat arena seemed dwarfed by the sheer size of the stage. Molotov, a Mexican rap-metal band that's nominated for four awards, including record of the year, was running through a sound check.

Their song Frijolero (Beaner), which earned them one Grammy nomination, is a biting tune laden with political commentary about racism, immigration and war. The band is scheduled to perform last tonight.

"The musical spectrum in radio and on television is governed by pop and that tends to have a very banal tendency and very meaningless content," said Paco Ayala, one of the band's two bass players. "And truth is, you are living a much more real situation in the streets of the Third World, in Mexico and Latin America, and it almost comes natural to talk about situations that make you uncomfortable and write social criticism with wit and irony. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Miami Finally Getting to Host Latin Grammys; Show Avoids Controversy over Artists Living in Cuba
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.